Original Article

Vitamin B12 Serum Levels of 6-9-Month-Old Infants by Feeding Practices

10.4274/jpr.galenos.2019.00377

  • Hüseyin Dağ
  • Melike Özberk Koç
  • Okan Dikker
  • Hasan Dursun

Received Date: 05.01.2019 Accepted Date: 05.02.2019 J Pediatr Res 0;0(0):0-0 [e-Pub]

Aim:

Vitamin B12 is naturally obtained from animal-derived foods and is important for the development and wellbeing of babies. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a general health concern in developing countries. This study aimed to investigate the effects of different feeding practices on vitamin B12 levels and hemogram parameters in infants aged 6–9 months.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 120 infants (61 boys, 59 girls) aged 6–9 months were retrospectively evaluated. The babies were assigned to three groups according to feeding practices: 1) only breast milk, 2) breast milk and formula, and 3) only formula in addition to complementary foods. Laboratory data (vitamin B12, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, white blood cell count, and absolute neutrophil count) of the patients were retrospectively compared.

Results:

The mean and median age of the patients was 6.6±1.1 months. The vitamin B12 levels in babies that only received formula were statistically significantly higher than those in babies receiving only breast milk or receiving both breast milk and formula (p<0.05). Furthermore, the vitamin B12 levels were significantly lower in babies receiving only breast milk than in those receiving both formula and breast milk (p<0.001).

Conclusion:

This study showed that vitamin B12 levels were lowest in babies that only received breast milk compared to those in babies receiving formula. The babies that were receiving formula only had the highest levels of vitamin B12. This study determined that breast milk alone was not sufficient to maintain normal levels of vitamin B12 in 6–9-month-old babies in the region. Therefore, both mothers and babies should be provided with the necessary support in terms of vitamin B12 levels, and prophylaxis should be discussed from the viewpoint of preventive healthcare services.

Keywords: Child, breast milk, formula, vitamin B12